Dunlop latex mattresses can be a godsend to those who suffer from allergies and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome. Is this the best latex mattress for those who are sensitive?
These individuals often have a difficult time choosing a mattress they can live with. This is because the materials used to construct the average mattress often include synthetic components that are a source of multiple allergens, and potentially even toxic.
Some synthetic materials include VOCs (volatile organic compounds) which carry toxins into the air at low levels over a long period of time. This process is known as out-gassing, and for people suffering from chemical sensitivities, it can seem to go on forever.
A well-known example of a VOC is formaldehyde, a chemical used to preserve living tissue. It has a very disagreeable odor, one which even those without allergies find repulsive.
Unfortunately, chemicals that have a great deal in common with formaldehyde are often used in traditional mattress construction. When these substances out-gas over time, they can be a significant irritant to people with chemical sensitivities.
What can individuals with such sensitivities do to increase their comfort levels? One solution is to choose a Dunlop latex mattress rather than one made of synthetic materials.
There are two primary methods by which latex is synthesized into mattress and pillow foam: the Dunlop process and the Talalay process.
The Dunlop process converts the naturally-occurring latex found in rubber trees into foam which is riddled with countless interconnected oxygen cells. This makes the latex firm yet responsive to touch, giving it a naturally sponge-like quality.
It is a durable substance that holds up over long periods of constant use. 100% natural Dunlop latex mattresses have been known to last upwards of twenty years without any significant damage to its core.
The Talalay process is the more recent of the two processes for creating natural latex. Both will produce a high quality latex, assuming they are, in fact, 100% natural and not actually a compound, but the Talalay process tends to produce mattresses that are softer than the average Dunlop.
Many customers prefer firmness to softness; hence both types have their devotees. The differences between them seem to be largely a matter of density. Broadly speaking, the Talalay process produces a lighter, airier mattress while the Dunlop results in a denser, more resilient product.
It has been posited that Dunlop is the more pure of the two processes, and that it has a slight edge in terms of durability. Talalay latex is made with vanilla which is intended to mask the natural latex smell, however the vanilla smell or added ingredients may cause problems for some.
Our experience with Dunlop latex is that the better quality foams have only a slight rubber smell which fades over time, however the lower quality Dunlop does have a stronger and more persistent rubber smell.
Talalay being a relative newcomer to the field, however, it could be that research data between the two is not necessarily comparable and representative. Ultimately, of course, it is up to each individual to choose what works best for him or her. There are proponents of both processes who are equally certain that their natural latex of choice is the superior product.
An all-natural latex mattress will not groan and squeak with every movement of the sleeper, causing sleep disturbances in his or her partner. A Dunlop latex mattress adjusts naturally to each individual's bodily contours, allowing for maximum comfort, great sleep quality and optimal spinal health.
All-natural latex is also hypoallergenic and of prophylactic medicinal value. Traditional inner spring mattresses, and even synthetic latex can harbor dust mites and other pests which can cause illnesses and allergy.
All-natural latex, on the other hand, is highly resistant to both insect infestation and bacteriological growth. There is a wide variety of allergens associated with synthetic mattresses, while all-natural latex is a highly hypoallergenic alternative.
It is generally assumed that Dunlop latex mattresses are significantly more expensive than their traditional counterparts. While this is generally true in terms of initial outlay; when one figures in the long life of a natural latex mattress; its hypoallergenic and bacteriostatic qualities; and money saved due to improved health; the argument breaks down.
A 100% natural latex mattress will usually cost more than a box spring up front, but most people who have owned both tend to consider latex a much better value over time.
Interestingly, a leading mattress company starts its pricing of Queen-sized box spring mattresses at $599; a new company selling 100% natural latex mattresses charges $649 for the same size mattress. So it is possible to save money up front as well as over the long term; you just have to be a savvy shopper.
Reading customer reviews online is an excellent way to educate yourself about their various options out there. Since the people who write these have (presumably) no axe to grind, their opinions can be much more valuable than sales and advertising copy. There is a considerable profusion of online sources both of products and information for the mattress consumer.
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